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post #1 of 17 Old 02-27-2009, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Bits?

I have a 17.3hh ex-eventer turned jumper Irish Sport Horse gelding. He enjoys a good workout everyday, and can get quite strong. I've tried bits from regular snaffles, to a mylar d-ring, to the straight metal pellham. I have yet to try a port bit, but I'm starting to think that might be a possibility for him. We compete in the level three's to level four jumpers, depending on our mood.

Any suggestions on bits?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-27-2009, 12:07 PM
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IMO a different bit is not the answer. If he gets strong he needs more foundation training to learn to control himself better. As a rider we should be able to ask our horses for more energy and then be able to immediately ask them to come back down to a calm energy and have them listen.

I'd ride him in a snaffle, the Myler D-ring sounds good. If he gets strong put him on a circle until he relaxes. The stronger he is, the smaller the circle. That's one strategy you could use.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-27-2009, 12:11 PM
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What was he ridden in as an eventer?
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-27-2009, 12:11 PM
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Gulliver, welcome to the forum!!!!


I'm going to pass on this because I know very little about jumping. I do wish you good luck and I know several folks on her do jump.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20








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post #5 of 17 Old 02-27-2009, 10:30 PM
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I think I would try some sort of thinner twisted snaffle and if thats not working then move on to a bit with a little bit of a port. You many also want to work on a lot of bending and circles.

Brittany
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-27-2009, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Spirithorse View Post
IMO a different bit is not the answer. If he gets strong he needs more foundation training to learn to control himself better. As a rider we should be able to ask our horses for more energy and then be able to immediately ask them to come back down to a calm energy and have them listen.

I'd ride him in a snaffle, the Myler D-ring sounds good. If he gets strong put him on a circle until he relaxes. The stronger he is, the smaller the circle. That's one strategy you could use.
I agree completely here. I've often found that a horse that's used to a strong bit that gets bitted up gets faster, and will often benefit from bitting DOWN.

I've had great luck retraining a student's older Morgan gelding that showed (and won) at Nationals for Saddleseat and was HOT HOT HOT in a double bridle, twisted snaffles, and more, for dressage. Took him out of all the strong bits and he's in a happy mouth loose ring. Totally different horse. Sure he gets strong sometimes but my student circles him, and he goes from there, and gets better every ride. The other week she did an on the buckle lesson on him walk, trot, and canter without being allowed to pick up the reins at all. By the end of the lesson he was much quieter and moving off her seat and leg a ton better (and this was without a longe line - just no reins her in the ring).

Go back to flat work, focus on seat and leg. A bit doesn't stop a horse, a rider does.

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post #7 of 17 Old 02-27-2009, 11:12 PM
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I think I would try some sort of thinner twisted snaffle and if thats not working then move on to a bit with a little bit of a port. You many also want to work on a lot of bending and circles.
thinner/twisted and ported all = pain. by teaching a horse that bit = pain, and pain = stop, we take away the quality of our ride and the communication with our horse. Riding goes from being a conversation on teamwork to becoming a message of dominance/submission that often results in deterioration of training over time as the horse learns to resent rather than revel in the job asked of them.

most important in bitting a horse is to find one that they like and respond to and listen to. the more a horse listens to the bit, the more the seat and leg are also effective, and the lighter the rides aids can be. remember if a horse can feel a fly land on their skin, even the strongest horse can feel the mildest of bits in their mouths. it's just a matter of teaching them the responses to that bit and how we go about doing that which matters.

and fyi a mullen mouth pelham is actually a very mild bit when used properly as it has little mouth pressure, no nutcracker action and depending on the horse's preference, mild even tongue pressure. a low port variation of this will provide some tongue releif without adding any counteraction onto the roof of the mouth to cause pain.

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post #8 of 17 Old 02-28-2009, 10:08 AM
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Wonderfully put CJ82Sky. Just to add to that, you have to remember you are in THE most sensitive part of the horse's body. If you just sit back and think about it, how do you think it feels to be pulled on, ridden on a tight rein, with a hunk of metal in your mouth....and then if you add a twisted/thinner/ported bit?? Yikes! Softer is better.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-28-2009, 10:52 AM
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I agree with many above posters. Learn to ride and half halt the horse back WITHOUT using the bit, and then when you really need it in an emergency type situation, it's there. Your reins and bit are only for decoration.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-01-2009, 01:25 AM
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Try a thinner bit and a martingale if that does not work keep the martingale and also try a soft twist snaffle, I would also suggest going back to flat and getting him to understand better.

I would also suggest some good dressage lessons with a knowledgeable instructor and improving your half halts and learning how to use your weight against the horse example when he is pulling sitting in the saddle and pushing down with your weight!

Good luck I hope some of all these replies helps your situation
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